3 Oct 2003

National flag carrier says Tonga's accession to open skies agreement will lead to new services

11:22 am on 3 October 2003

Royal Tongan Airlines says it hopes to start a weekly service to Honolulu within the next two months.

The announcement comes after Tonga's Prime Minister, Ulukalala Lavaka-Ata and the US Acting Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, committed their nations to the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalisation of International Air Transportation or Maliat, at a special ceremony in Washington.

Under Maliat, which provides for open skies between its parties, the airline will be able to operate flights between Tonga and the United States.

The managing director for Royal Tongan Airlines says they've been waiting for almost a year to commence flights, and he believes they'll prove popular.